Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Honolulu, HI & Kapolei, HI

Did you know that most women will experience uterine fibroids at one point in their lives, even if they have no symptoms and are unaware that fibroids are present? For those who encounter discomfort or other symptoms, Lynette W. Tsai, MD of Oahu OB/GYN in Honolulu and Kapolei, Hawaii, offer the latest uterine fibroid treatment options. Booking an appointment is as easy as a phone call or a few moments on the online scheduling page.

Fibroids Q & A

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are growths on or within your uterus. Fibroids are almost never cancerous, and often present no symptoms at all and resolve on their own.

Fibroids can be so tiny they cannot be detected by the human eye, or so large they cause your abdomen to expand. It’s possible to have just one fibroid or many. For some women, large or numerous fibroids cause a range of unpleasant symptoms. 

What causes uterine fibroids?

While the exact cause of uterine fibroids remains unknown, research indicates certain factors that contribute to the condition. These include:

  • Genetic changes
  • Shifting hormonal balance
  • Abnormal levels of insulin-like growth factors
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Diet high in red meat and low in green vegetables, dairy, and fruit

African-American women have a higher risk of uterine fibroids than other racial groups. It also appears there is a genetic predisposition to developing fibroids, so if your mother or sister has them, you have a greater risk. 

What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids don’t always present symptoms, and many women only find out they have fibroids after a prenatal ultrasound or routine pelvic exam at Oahu OB/GYN. When symptoms are present, they might include:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Difficulty fully emptying your bladder
  • Backache or leg pain
  • Constipation

These symptoms are common with many gynecologic issues, so it’s important to come in for a diagnostic exam as soon as you notice changes. 

What can be done to treat uterine fibroids?

Your treatment plan depends on your symptoms, your overall health, and your plans for future pregnancy. The process begins with a thorough diagnostic exam at Oahu OB/GYN and a discussion of your personal and family health history, as well as any symptoms you’ve noticed. 

In some cases, your doctor advises a period of watchful waiting. Many fibroids grow very slowly and eventually shrink on their own without treatment. 

In other cases, medication can help manage your symptoms. Some drugs work to slow estrogen and progesterone production to shrink fibroids. Others ease heavy menstrual bleeding. Some options are taken every day, others you only need during the heaviest days of your period. 

If your fibroids are larger, surgery might be the best way to find relief. Laparoscopic techniques are used to remove fibroids without the need for large incisions or lengthy recovery times. 

To learn more about fibroid treatment options, or to book a diagnostic exam, call Oahu OB/GYN or visit the online booking page today.